Attitude And Interest As Correlates Of Students Academics Performance In Mathematics

Mathematics Education Project Material

Attitude And Interest As Correlates Of Students Academics Performance In Mathematics


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the the attitude and interest as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state as a case study. The study was set to find out whether there is a significant relationship between attitude and students’ academic performance in mathematics, find out whether there is a significant relationship between interest and students’ academic performance in mathematics and ascertain the factors influencing students’ attitude and interest in mathematics in Etinan LGA. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of mathematics teachers and students of the some selected secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 200 respondents and 150 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypotheses were tested using Pearson correlation statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that there is a significant relationship between attitude and students’ academic performance in mathematics. The result of the findings reveals that the factors influencing students’ attitude and interest in mathematics in Etinan LGA includes: Teacher – Pupil Interactions in the Classroom, Methods Used to Teach Mathematics, Availability of Teaching- Learning Resources, Peer Influence and Teacher Qualification and professional exhibitions. Therefore, it is recommended that school authorities, Parents’ Teachers Association, State Primary and State Secondary Education Boards and other educational stakeholders should help and encourage students to develop positive attitude and keen interest for mathematics, with an understanding that the subject is a major driver of science and technology in the World. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses
  • 4.5 Discussion of Findings

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Although the content of subject curricular kept changing from time to time, the structure and practice remained stagnant (Akinlua, 2007). One of the enduring features is that emphasis is still placed on the importance of examination and certification as a measure of assessing pupils in the learning process. Lugard (1965) had however pointed out that the main purpose of Western education was to produce clerks and interpreters to aid the administrative machinery of the imperial overlords. To Akinlua (2007: 95) this type of education was not “founded on realistic philosophical principles”, and though the frame of reference for curricular content was localized, other relevant issues such as models of learning and teaching were based on the British system. Mathematics as a core subject in secondary schools is one of the subjects that is affected by the curricular content of the Nigerian educational system. For this study, mathematics will be defined as numbers and operations, algebra, and geometry (Michelli, 2013).

The way students perceive a subject determines their interest and success or failure in that subject. Some students perceive mathematics as a no go area because of the negative impression passed down to them by the past generations, who had bad experience with unqualified mathematics teachers; that mathematics is the most difficult subject in the school, that the subject is not meant for everybody, not everybody passes it, it is meant for those with special talent, some were born to do mathematics while others were not (Audu, 1995). On hearing all these negative expressions before school age or getting admission into school, the child psychologically develops and nurses fear for the subject and comes to the lesson with these bad notions and bias, which disassociate learning patterns, which are impossible to build upon. This notion has done a lot of harm to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Math phobia is the condition that these bad notions lead to. That is, fear followed by low productivity and consequently leads to low academic achievement in mathematics. This study explores the influence of students’ attitude and interest on their performance in mathematics.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The seemingly misconceptions by students, parents, teachers and even Government officials that mathematics is a difficult subject necessitated this study. Most Nigerian students perform poorly in Mathematics examinations and that they underachieved in mathematics when compared to students from other countries such as Ghana. These results give impetus to the development of further research that seeks to characterize and understand different variables, which may influence student performance in Mathematics. This will help to make possible strategies for future action in schools, families, and communities, in order to bring about an improvement in the failure rate in mathematics in school and public examinations. Also, the way students perceive a teacher or a subject determines their success or failure in that subject. Some students today perceived mathematics as no go area because of the negative impressions passed down to them by the past generation who had bad experience with unqualified mathematics teachers, which is still in circulation: that mathematics is the most difficult subjects in the school, it is not meant for everybody, not everybody passes it, it is meant for those with special talent (Audu, 1995). On hearing all these negative expression since before school age or getting admission into school, the child psychologically develops fear for the subject and come to the lesson with these notion and if confronted with any mathematical problem-solving will quickly conceptualized him/her self: I cannot do any difficult task, it is not meant for people like me, accepting defeat.

Therefore, the hierarchy needs of both teachers and students should be met to motivate both parties for better performance. According to Maslow, teachers should do everything possible to help students satisfy their deficiency (mathematics), because an inner motivation for knowledge will not develop until these basic needs are met. He observed that teachers are not always able to intervene in student’s life to the extent necessary to fulfill deficiency needs, but suggested that, teachers instead are in a position to provide a classroom conducive for learning,, that could fulfill deficiency needs, especially in mathematics, a subject which if not passed with credit, no student could be given admission into any tertiary institution, especially in science and technology-related courses. Teachers and primarily parents, as much as possible should help and encourage their children in meeting deficiency needs, which consequently could enhance effective teaching and learning of all subjects.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the attitude and interest as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics in Etinan LGA.

The specific objectives include:

  1. Find out whether there is a significant relationship between attitude and students’ academic performance in mathematics.
  2. Find out whether there is a significant relationship between interest and students’ academic performance in mathematics.
  3. Ascertain the factors influencing students’ attitude and interest in mathematics in Etinan LGA.

1.4 Research Questions

The study will be guided by the following questions;

  1. Is there a significant relationship between attitude and students’ academic performance in mathematics?
  2. Is there a significant relationship between interest and students’ academic performance in mathematics?
  3. What are the factors influencing students’ attitude and interest in mathematics in Etinan LGA?

1.5 Statement of the Hypothesis

  • Ho: There is no significant relationship between attitude and students’ academic performance in mathematics.
  • Ha: There is no significant relationship between interest and students’ academic performance in mathematics.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The aim is to educate the present and new incoming generations on the likely variables perceived to be affecting learning and teaching of mathematics in secondary schools, resulting to the persistent rate of failure in the subject. A person’s attitude to an idea or object determines what the person thinks, feels and how the person would like to act or behave towards that idea or the object. Therefore, the students’ attitude towards their teachers’ qualification could influence their attitude towards learning mathematics or any other school subject and subsequently, academic performance in examinations. Students more often than not, judge their teachers in such areas as the teachers’ knowledge of the subject matter, communication, ability and the choice of appropriate teaching method, class management and leadership style. A teacher who is rated high on these indices in the eye of the students is likely to enjoy the confidence, respect and admiration of his/her students and vice versa and in the process become their role model, mentor and inspirator in the subject taught. By examining the different perceptions, attitudes, belief and myths of mathematics that parents, former students and even community people and policy makers hold, there is a potential for such perceptions, attitudes, beliefs and myths to be challenged, promoted or discouraged scientifically with proofs. The information obtained will enhance better strategies and measures, information and understanding for promoting students’ beliefs, understanding and participation in mathematics and mathematics-related fields during their career development. The results of this study might inform the extent of the influences of parents and teachers in shaping students’ perceptions, attitude and bahaviour towards mathematics. This information can be used to promote positive attitudes while attempting to avoid the negative influences of these sources. It will help to understand better the roles of parents and teachers in the shaping of students’ attitudes towards the study of mathematics and academic performance. The findings will reflect possible implication for mathematics education and mathematics teacher education. Knowing how students perceive mathematics learning experiences in school and how this could influence their attitudes towards mathematics will help policy makers, curriculum planners and other education stakeholders to understand better how mathematics should be presented at the planning and policy levels and in the classroom for easy appreciation by students. This knowledge may also help to enhance better curriculum planning and teacher development programmes. Students’ views of mathematics are important as they can shape the way in which they learn mathematics. Such views and attitudes may have more influence than knowledge in determining how individual students organize and define tasks, while studying mathematics. Perceptions of what mathematics is and is not, may affect attitudes, performance, confidence and perceived usefulness of mathematics in the short, medium and long run.


1.7 Scope of Study

This study is structured to focus on attitude and interest as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics in Etinan LGA. The study will also figure out the factors influencing students attitude towards mathematics. The study will be conducted in some selected secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state. Hence, mathematics teachers and students will serve as respondents for this study.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Financial constraint

Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint

The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Attitude

Attitude is a central part of human identity. Everyday people love, hate, like, dislike, favour, oppose, agree, disagree, argue, persuade etc.

Attitude Towards Mathematics

Attitude towards Mathematics can be measured by beliefs, thoughts, attributes; towards Mathematics (cognitive); feelings and emotions about Mathematics (affective), as well as behavioural information (past events, experiences).


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, abnd selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the attitude and interest as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state as a case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the attitude and interest as correlates of students academics performance in mathematics using some selected secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state as a case study. The study was specifically set to find out whether there is a significant relationship between attitude and students’ academic performance in mathematics, find out whether there is a significant relationship between interest and students’ academic performance in mathematics and ascertain the factors influencing students’ attitude and interest in mathematics in Etinan LGA.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated from the enrolled participants, where all respondent are mathematics teachers and students of the some selected secondary schools in Etinan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom state.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. There is a significant relationship between attitude and students’ academic performance in mathematics.
  2. There is a significant relationship between interest and students’ academic performance in mathematics,
  3. The factors influencing students’ attitude and interest in mathematics in Etinan LGA includes: Teacher – Pupil Interactions in the Classroom, Methods Used to Teach Mathematics, Availability of Teaching- Learning Resources, Peer Influence and Teacher Qualification and professional exhibitions.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. School authorities, Parents’ Teachers Association, State Primary and State Secondary Education Boards and other educational stakeholders should help and encourage students to develop positive attitude and keen interest for mathematics, with an understanding that the subject is a major driver of science and technology in the World.
  2. No teacher should be assigned to teach a subject where he or she is not a subject-matter specialist or professional in that subject, especially mathematics, which need dedicated, passionate and professionally –trained personnel to simplify the abstract-related areas for the students’ understanding and appreciation of the subject.
  3. Teachers of Mathematics should be mindful of their personality, especially when in contact with the students. That is, they should not behave in a way perceived as abnormal by the students, as behaving this way might make the students to develop negative attitude towards Mathematics.
  4. The usefulness of every topic in Mathematics and/or Mathematics as a whole, should be related to the students by the teachers while teaching them.

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